Stocked fishing ponds: The all-in-one-playground


What are they?

Stocked fishing ponds are to fishermen like driving ranges to golfers. You basically pay an entrance fee (anywhere from B50-3,000) to fish at a stocked pond saving you petrol money and the hassle of trying to find a icy cold beer in middle of the great outdoors.

Most ponds are very basic having nothing but a small kitchen, a drinks fridge and a relatively tiny pond. Some ponds like the internationally known Bungsamran (บึงสำราญ) has everything from rod rentals, a restaurant, a cafe, a game centre, a Thai massage clinic, internet cafe, two fishing equipment shops, fishing guides and even cute bungalows equipped with bedrooms, TV, fridges and air-conditioning if you wanted.

The Bar With A Fishing Pond

There are basically two types of ponds: bait-fishing ponds and lure fishing ponds. Some ponds, like the aforementioned one, will have both types of fishing available. Bait-fishing ponds are almost always restaurants/bars with the added bonus of having a fishing ponds and people here love to get drunk, it’s not an understatement, it’s a fact. Most Thai fishermen love beer and/or whisky, myself included.

As anglers drop their lines into the water they wait together for the fish to take the bait and waiting is pretty damn boring without the company of friends and a cold icy beer.

Once, during a fishing trip to Bungsamran to catch the leviathan Mekong giant catfish, I remember arriving at 8am. By 9am, a group of fishermen arrived with their gear and several bottles of 100 Pipers Scotch whiskey accompanied with a cooler full of ice, some plastic cups and an assortment of mixers. By the time I left, at 9pm, they were still at it, opening yet another bottle of whiskey as they fished away.I don’t think I’ve ever seen any group of people so happy. That’s why I came up with the conclusion that:

Fishing + drinking = awesome.

Catch and Not Release

While some ponds have a catch and release policy, several others will allow you to take a certain amount home for dinner free of charge while others allow you to weigh the fish and buy it out by the kilo. Most ponds that let you keep your catch will even cook the fish for you so you and your friends can eat a real catch of the day.

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